[b-hebrew] M$QH at Genesis 13: 10: Where Did Lot Go?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 6 10:58:57 EDT 2008


On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 11:24 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Karl W. Randolph:
> 1.  You wrote:  "I usually trash your messages unread because, to put it
> gently, you're full of hot air. You do not believe the Bible, as your
> comments
> below indicate."
> My posts consistently argue that the Patriarchal narratives are very
> closely
> based on the well-documented secular history of the Late Bronze Age.  No "
> belief" is needed.  The text itself beautifully matches what we know about
> the
> Late Bronze Age, regardless of what religious beliefs a person may or may
> not
> have.
> My concluding line in my prior message to you summarizes the overall nature
> of my posts:  "Based on everything I have been able to track down, chapter
> 13
> of Genesis fits perfectly with the well-documented secular history of Late
> Bronze Age Canaan."

So from your analysis, I must conclude that the patriarchal narratives
postdate the invasion of Canaan under Joshua, as the book of Joshua mirrors
the archeological findings for the middle bronze age.

The reason I wrote that you obviously don't believe the patriarchal
narratives is because they are placed before Joshua and his invasion,
centuries before, and here you are placing them afterwards.

> 2.  You wrote:  "First of all, the history of Exodus indicates that it
> happened in mid to
>  late bronze age, so if Abraham lived centuries before, that would put him
> in
> early to early mid bronze age.  Therefore, you don't trust the Biblical
> narratives as giving an accurate history."
> I have found nothing in secular history to back up the account of the
> Exodus
> that is set forth in the Book of Exodus.  We have voluminous Egyptian
> records
> from all the relevant time periods, but nothing similar to the Exodus of
> Hebrews recounted in the Book of Exodus.  Virtually no modern secular
> historians
> believe that anything like the Exodus reported in the Book of Exodus
> occurred.
> By sharp contrast, everything we know about the Late Bronze Age appears to
> match, in my opinion, what is said in the Patriarchal narratives.  What I
> am
> trying to do is to show that if we look at the Patriarchal narratives on
> their own
> terms, instead of through the lens of the Book of Exodus, the text of the
> Patriarchal narratives matches beautifully with what we know happened in
> the Late
> Bronze Age.

I haven't studied Egyptian history enough to be conversant on it, however I
have read enough to recognize that also secular historians disagree on
Egyptian history. The disagreements concern not mere months or individual
years, but centuries (plural). And while we have voluminous Egyptian
records, many of them have been distorted, deliberately so. To top it off,
the records are spotty, fairly complete in some eras, lacking in others.
Therefore, to claim that the surviving records disprove the Exodus is
premature at best.

> 3.  You wrote:  "We read in Genesis 14 that Abram had 318 fighting men
> among
> his slaves, therefore the total number of Abram's slaves including women
> and
> children were about 1000, maybe more. It would take vast flocks to support
> that
>  number. Yet Abram was able to pasture his flocks throughout most of the
> land
>  except around a few towns that existed at that time."
> Although I do not agree that Abraham's 318 armed retainers were "slaves",
> you are right that Abraham had a considerable entourage of people, and a
> huge
> flock of sheep and goats.  But as I read it, the text does not indicate
> that
> Abraham sojourned "throughout most of the land" of Canaan prior to when
> Sarah
> got pregnant with Isaac.  The text indicates, rather, that for 25 stated
> "years"
>  Abraham sojourned in Hebron.  From the end of chapter 13 of Genesis,
> through
> chapter 18 of Genesis, I see nothing in the text that indicates that
> Abraham
> ever left Hebron.  I view Hebron as being a large fertile valley, 17½ miles
> west of Beth-el, that was ideal pastureland for Abraham's large flock of
> sheep
> and goats, and that could also, for a few years, support Abraham's 318
> armed
> retainers as well.  The Patriarchs' "Hebron" cannot be the mountainous city
> of
> Hebron 20 miles south of Jerusalem, as such locale had little good
> pastureland
> and could not have supported Abraham's large flock and 318 armed retainers.
> Based on my reading, the text does not report Abraham as ever leaving
> Hebron
> until right before Sarah gets pregnant with Isaac.  Likewise, Abraham
> returns
> to Hebron upon Sarah's death, and Abraham never leaves Hebron during the
> rest
> of Abraham's long life.

In this you directly contradict the text, as Genesis mentions several moves
that Abraham did, both prior and after the birth of Isaac. By contradicting
the text, you invalidate your "proof" that the patriarchal narratives
reflect a later period than previously understood.

> 5.  You wrote:  "My understanding is that you are on this list to push an
> agenda. What that agenda is, I don't know.  Therefore I almost never read
> your
> messages, and even this one I read only bits and parts, not the whole.  I
> probably won't read a response to this."
> If you read my posts, you would realize that my "agenda" is to analyze the
> Hebrew text to show that the world of the Patriarchs is one and the same as
> the
> world of Canaan in the secular history of the Late Bronze Age.  Thus for
> example, on this thread a close examination of the key Hebrew word M$QH
> reveals
> that Lot must have gone to the eastern Jezreel Valley when he left Beth-el,
> not
> to the southern shore of the Dead Sea as traditionally supposed.  The
> "cities
> of the KKR/valley/'Plain'" in the text are (or are closely based on)
> historical Late Bronze Age cities in the Jezreel Valley, not fictional
> cities south of
> the Dead Sea.

That you call those cities "fictional" shows your disdain for the text. It
is my understanding from other sources that those cities were early bronze
age cities, not fictional, as has been found through archeology and secular
history, therefore their connection with Abraham places Abraham in the early
bronze age, not late as you are pushing.

As for their location at the southern end of the Jordan Valley south of the
Dead Sea, that is not found in the Bible, rather from other histories.

> My "agenda" is to look at the Patriarchal narratives on their own terms,
> rather than through the lens of the Book of Exodus, and thereby discover
> the
> startling historical accuracy of the text of the last 40 chapters of
> Genesis in a
> Late Bronze Age historical context.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

When you first started posting, a read a few of your messages completely
through, but stopped because I concluded that:
a) you do not know Hebrew, at least not well,
b) you do not know history, at least not well, and
c) you refuse to take correction.

This is the first message of yours that I read through for a long time, and
conclude that my original conclusions still appear to be correct. Now on the
basis of this message, I can add that you distort the text to support your
agenda. You do not come looking at the data first, then reaching a
conclusion, rather you start with a conclusion, then twist the data to fit.

Karl W. Randolph.

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